Reproducibility of hippocampal atrophy rates measured with manual, FreeSurfer, AdaBoost, FSL/FIRST and the MAPS-HBSI methods in Alzheimer's disease

Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging. 2016 Jun 30;252:26-35. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2016.04.006. Epub 2016 May 11.


The purpose of this study is to assess the reproducibility of hippocampal atrophy rate measurements of commonly used fully-automated algorithms in Alzheimer disease (AD). The reproducibility of hippocampal atrophy rate for FSL/FIRST, AdaBoost, FreeSurfer, MAPS independently and MAPS combined with the boundary shift integral (MAPS-HBSI) were calculated. Back-to-back (BTB) 3D T1-weighted MPRAGE MRI from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI1) study at baseline and year one were used. Analysis on 3 groups of subjects was performed - 562 subjects at 1.5T, a 75 subject group that also had manual segmentation and 111 subjects at 3T. A simple and novel statistical test based on the binomial distribution was used that handled outlying data points robustly. Median hippocampal atrophy rates were -1.1%/year for healthy controls, -3.0%/year for mildly cognitively impaired and -5.1%/year for AD subjects. The best reproducibility was observed for MAPS-HBSI (1.3%), while the other methods tested had reproducibilities at least 50% higher at 1.5T and 3T which was statistically significant. For a clinical trial, MAPS-HBSI should require less than half the subjects of the other methods tested. All methods had good accuracy versus manual segmentation. The MAPS-HBSI method has substantially better reproducibility than the other methods considered.

Keywords: Alzheimer disease; Atrophy; Automatic segmentation; Boundary shift integral; Hippocampus; Magnetic resonance imaging; Manual segmentation; Mild cognitive impairment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Atrophy / diagnostic imaging
  • Atrophy / pathology
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hippocampus / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Neuroimaging / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results